Retired and rehired excepted service


Q: I retired as a federal law enforcement officer (Series 1811, Treasury IRS Criminal Investigations) during 2010, and accepted a federal excepted service, law enforcement position with Department of Defense’s Inspector General the very next day. Do I have to worry about cashing out my annual leave (approximately 350 hours) with Treasury? Do I need a break in service equal to the annual leave time before I begin/began work with DoD, before the annual leave is cashed out? Both HR departments did not mention any such treatment of annual leave. An employee in my similar situation advised that I may have to pay the annual leave cash out back because I’m continuing federal service without a break, and that my annual leave would have to be transferred to DoD. Another employee, who is a co-worker, retired from the FBI and accepted the same position as I did with DoD. He cashed out last year and had no problems. Is there a difference in which federal agency you retire from (the first employee, who offered the warning worked as a Series 1811 with NCIS)? Any recommendations would be appreciated.

A: Because unused annual leave is projected forward as if you were still on the rolls, you are required to repay any money you received for hours that fall on days after you return to work for the government. Because you began working the day after you retired, you must repay the entire amount, plus accrued interest.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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